Thursday, October 22, 2009

Bovine Soylent Green

I always thought that "ground beef" I bought at the store was a piece of meat run through a meat grinder. Silly me.

A recent New York Times story about a woman crippled by an E-Coli infection from a frozen hamburger revealed the truth: The patty you buy at the supermarket is a vile witch's brew of highly processed Franken-meat and fat. Your humble hamburger contains the remains of as many as dozens of cows constituted and reconstituted into a bovine Soylent Green. The result: greatly increased risk of E-Coli -- basically shit -- in your meat.

What's even worse is that the formulas and processes used to produce this vile product are all secret. Not even the government knows what's going on behind the meat packing door. All this reminds me of The Jungle, the classic, literally gut-wrenching novel about the meat packing industry in Chicago in the early 20th century. How did we end up back in 1900? Oh well, yet another example of George Bush's largely successful effort to build a bridge to the 19th century.

How much does this save the mega-food companies? The article estimates that just grinding a piece of beef would cost about $1.40 a pound. The unholy process used t0 produce this killer beef: $1. As always, it's all about money. Once again, Big Food foists disgusting, dangerous crap on the American people in the name of the all mighty buck.

There are alternatives, first and foremost, a meat grinder. I have one that attaches to my Kitchen Aide Mixer. It's easy and quick. Second option: Find a place that grinds its own meat. Liuzzi's, my favorite Italian deli, grinds its own sirloin.

Just a piece of beef chopped up. Sounds so simple. Only American business could complicate something so basic out of existence in the name of 40 extra cents a pound while endangering America's health as well.

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